Beck, Elmer A. / The trade union press in the U.S. occupied area (Germany)
Werts, Leo P.
Foreword PDF (1.2 MB)
In my judgement, the labor press is one of the most important tools in the building of a sound and democratic trade union movfement in Germany. In any organization1 whether it be a trade union or an employer association, a .g torarnaental or an international organization, the adequacy of its Co.maunications system is most important in keeping the organization toget'her. It is recognized that the system of corununications can be one which will roflect the thinking of the mumbership as well as that of the leadership of the organization, or the system of communications can be perverted into a method of permitting the laadership to dominate and to indoctrinate the member- ship of the organization. It is obvious that the trade union press, being a part of a democratic organization, must place special oemlhasis on the role of the membership in their free trade unions. *'ithin its scope of influence, it must ensure that the membership is not directed by officials on what to belieTre and which policies to support. .,s free muen and woimen, the trade union members must be given the widest possible opportunity to examine critically the recommnadlations and policies developed by their leaders, and to offer guidance aal assistance out of their experience and conviction. Those unfamiliar with this democratic maethod of intercommunication are apt to. misinterpret expressions of differiarn opinion. The trade union press in the U.S. Occupied ur'ea has shown a deep appreciation of its function as a "-.-vatchdoog of damocracy'¼ The trade union membership has been offered a wide variety of opinion on main issues affecting the welfare of' the working population as well as on those larger questions of iaterezr to the general population. It has raoroover attempted to present an objective review of vital information on basic problems before attempting to open a forum discussion. In so cinig the labor press has revealed a profound devotion to the traditions of democratic journalism. One of the main purposes of the following report prepared by l,1r. Beck was to offer his Grcian colleagues the benefits of his rich background in labor journalism. -Among ocr. B eck's most important contributions during his visit to Germany was the mveeting which he arranged for the editors of the labor press in the U.S. Occupied Zrea. It is ry opinion that the exchange of e)xperiance among the trade union editors will strengthen and improve the service vwhich can be rendered by the labor press. ~~~ ! ( ,.'O r v ,1 E. iF T Director, ivianpower Division
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